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9 Ways To Recession-Proof Your Online Business

November 15, 202210 min read

I have very good news today. That news, based on real-world experience is this …

You do NOT need to fear a recession!

The reason that is true is simple … a well-structured online business is actually recession proof!

When your business is structured correctly it will provide passive profits to you every day of the year, year after year, regardless of what the economy does or does not do. 

And it will grow with time too!

So let’s look at how to structure that business today, free, right inside this article.

Step 1 – Say “NO!” To Fear

It has often been said that what stops us is not the things that happen TO us but how we RESPOND to the things that happen to us. 

I’m living proof of the truth of that statement. 

When I had $47 in the bank with no job and no ability to get a job (due to illness) I was afraid. 

But I kept working.

When I considered that my wife might have to go back to work I felt like a failure. 

But I kept working. 

I could list 100 examples but you get the point.

The bottom line is simple … we are going to feel fear in our lives but we must DO IT AFRAID!

We must do what we can, as much as we can, and strength will be given to do more. 

I know because at one point I had to sleep literally 18 hours a day, every day. More on that later.

If a recession does come there will be unknowns. There will be plenty of bad news.

And yet, there will be people who thrive during the recession.

If you want to be one of the one who thrive, learn to say NO to fear and chase fear out of your life starting today. 

Decide today, right now, that YOU will be one of those who THRIVE no matter what the economy does or what other people do.

Step 2 – Clarify Your Offer

Let’s start at the beginning. You must provide a quality product to thrive in any economy, good or bad. 

If your product or service offers quality and truly helps people move from where they are now to where they want to be, you are in good shape. 

But there may still be work to be done. 

The work that needs to be done is to CLARIFY your offer. 

The simplicity and clarity of your offer is more important that mere words can convey. 

It is THE difference between success and failure.

So how do you clarify your offer?

Start with this statement …

“I help people _____________”

If it takes more than a few words to fill in that line you need to work on clarifying your offer. 

For more about creating great offers, click here for my training course.

Step 3 – Raise The Free Line

There is no more powerful tool in your arsenal than the right lead magnet. I’ve seen ONE great lead magnet take a company from $300K in sales to over 4 million. 

While volumes have been written about lead magnets (including my course on Lead Magnets That Convert) it really comes down to these basics. 

  1. Understand what your audience wants.

  2. Provide something of HIGH actual (and perceived) value. 

  3. Help them get results in advance.

  4. Make your lead magnet easy to consume.

The phrase “raise the free line” can be confusing so let me explain. 

It does NOT mean pretending that your lead magnet could sell for $1000. 

It DOES mean actually giving away something so good that you could easily sell it. 

When you do that, you see signups like crazy.

I proved this with my Turnkey Membership Funnels.

We give away a complete membership as the lead magnet and then monetize with ads and emails. 

It’s beautiful to see.

Step 4 – Use Systems

Ryan Deiss has a saying I like. “If I have to do something more than three times, it gets automated”. 

Hard to argue with the founder of Digital Marketer. 

Automation is both the great blessing and curse of the Internet.

A blessing because it can set you free (literally) to build a big business on your own without staff, employees, or being chained to a desk.

Just look at what can be automated using today’s technology.

  • Adding videos to your blog.

  • Posting to any social media outlet.

  • Sending notices about blog posts to your mailing list.

  • Selling emails to your mailing list.

  • Following up on buyer interest using email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, and more.

  • Delivery of the products or bonuses (or both) that you offer.

  • Answering customer support requests.

  • Tracking your ad effectiveness, including ROI.

  • Determining which subject lines get the most opens and automatically choosing the best one.

  • Sending ads to other people’s lists.

  • Displaying ads on your site and choosing the best ones.

  • And much more.

Sounds great, right?

If we are honest with each other, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

In my experience, most people need considerable help in the beginning. Which is why I offer this.

Automation can be a curse because technology is confusing for most people and you can waste MASSIVE amounts of time setting it up. 

I’ll never forget a customer telling me she had spent 7 HOURS trying to create an opt in form at Aweber. 

I did it for her in 10 minutes.

Why was I fast and she so slow?

Only experience. I can afford to take the time to learn technology, and write posts like this, because my business is well-established and because I use systems.

Step 5 – Model Market Leaders

Modeling market leaders is probably the most under-used method of getting from where you are now to the success you want. 

Before I write about it, let me be perfectly clear. I’m NOT talking about “copying” or “hacking” or “cloning” anything from anyone. 

I personally believe that even copying a headline from a sales page is theft. As a copywriter, I know how hard it is to come up with a great headline.

There is value there that should not be poached by others.

What I am talking about is this – in any niche you can name there are people who are succeeding right now. 

Those who are succeeding are doing some things that all of us must do to succeed online.

  • They focus on building their list.

  • They are running advertising.

  • They have a sales letter.

  • They offer a lead magnet.

  • They use follow up email.

  • They are making social media posts.

  • They post videos to YouTube.

So why wonder and worry about what to do when you can model their success? 

If you are competing in their niche, and if you do what they do (without copying them) doesn’t it make sense that you will succeed by modeling their methods?

Modeling is not new. It is how mankind has been learning for as many years as there have been years. 

  • We learn parenting by being parented.

  • We learn to read by being read to.

  • We learn to play by being played with by our parents.

Why would the same truth not apply to business?

It does!

Take these action steps to get started. 

  1. Identify the leaders in your niche.

  2. Join their list and get their lead magnet.

  3. Follow them on social media.

  4. Investigate how they position their offer and set their price.

And then, with integrity, build your own system to sell whatever product you are promoting in that niche while modeling what you already know is working.

Step 6 – Be Flexible On Pricing

The first thing that many business owners do when a recession seems near is to lower their prices. 

Lowering prices is not the only strategy when things get tight.

I believe there are three ways to be flexible on pricing without cutting into your profit margin.

  1. Bundle products together to create a new package offer.

  2. Offer terms more often than you offer discounts.

  3. If you discount, do it based on the performance of the customer.

What does “the performance of the customer mean”?

It means you offer discounts to people who give you their attention.

That means people who …

  • Are repeat buyers.

  • Open your emails consistently.

  • Follow you on social media.

  • Provide a testimonial.

  • Take an upsell offer.

  • Own a certain segment of products.

  • Correspond with you via email.

A discount without a reason leads to confusion.

A discount WITH a reason is seen as a compliment, a reward for loyalty.

Which feeling would you rather create?

Step 7 – Be Transparent With Customers

When times get a little tough your business might suffer. Cash flow can slow down. Your attention can become fragmented as you search for an answer. 

At times like this it is vital to be open and honest with customers. 

I’ve experienced this with my health. As I calculate it, I have spent about 20 years in some sort of poor health. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy and blessed. But my experience of life has been much different than I would have predicted when I got married at 19. 

During these years my wonderful customers have stayed loyal and responsive. 

I believe that is because they are exceptional people AND because I’ve been very open with them.

Give your customers the gift of honesty and they will repay you many times over. 

Step 8 – Stick With Your Plan

When things go sideways it is incredibly tempting to change directions and do something new. 

Don’t do it. 

Instead, do this. 

Evaluate your business by the numbers. Know what is working and change what you must.

But never change something unless you are doing it based on actual data.

While tracking your numbers is beyond the scope of this article, here are some numbers you need to start tracking today if you are not tracking them already.

  • Number of visitors to your site.

  • Bounce rate of your site.

  • Amount of time the average visitor stays on your site.

  • How many new people joined your list today?

  • How many people unsubscribed from your list today?

  • How many emails did you send today?

  • How many emails were opened?

  • How many emails were clicked?

  • What were your sales?

  • What were your costs?

If you are running paid ads, there are other numbers you need to know for them. 

Don’t feel overwhelmed – the online tools you use will provide most of this data. Or use Google Analytics, which can provide most of it alone.

Step 9 – Don’t Wait To Start

A public speaker named Joe Sabah said something I love …

“You don’t have to be great to start but you DO have to start to be great!”

Now that is true wisdom!

I know this article is long and it feels like there is so much to do. And there is. But starting right now on the basics will mean you are putting time on your side.

Choose ONE action from this article and do it today.

And then let me know in the comments or Facebook that you have taken action. 


Remember this … every time you automate a marketing task you free up time to automate even more marketing tasks.

I call it the “automation snowball” because of the way it grows and develops momentum of its own.

If you take it step-by-step, and if you don’t quit or change courses, you will come to the point where ALL of your marketing is automated.

When that happens you will experience the following: 

  • You will make sales every day automatically.

  • Products will be delivered automatically.

  • Your list will grow every day automatically.

  • Your social presence will grow every day automatically.

  • Your free time will grow automatically.

And those are very beautiful things indeed!

Charlie Page
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Charlie Page

Helping people succeed online for over 23 years. Content marketing. Course creator.

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